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Friday, August 18, 2006

Teens who cuss

FRANKLIN

Franklin resident Tim Harrigan sounded off on Peter Schworm's recent article about teenagers who cuss up a storm in today's Letters to the Editor. Here's what he wrote:

PETER SCHWORM'S article on profanity ("Talking a blue streak," Living/Arts, Aug. 14) and the response to it (letters, Aug. 15) focus on bad words and form, but the real problem is not the particulars of the wording -- it's people being impersonal and rude.

Verbal nastiness is much more about intent than it is about the words used, and there are plenty of breathtakingly cruel things you can say in perfect English. The sad fact is that civility cannot be regulated by limiting vocabulary, and the only real check on bad language is a person's self-image.


For example, in most high schools you may as well replace the ``s" or ``f" words with ``blue" and ``red," for all they really mean. So high schoolers can discuss current events, such as Dick Cheney saying ``go red yourself" on the Senate floor and George Bush wanting Hezbollah to ``stop this blue" without earning detention.

TIM HARRIGAN
Franklin

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